There’s a lot of contrary information out there about how effective Millennials have been about taking care of their money. The positive news is that a majority of Millennials are saving. Differing reports show that somewhere between 58% and 71% of Millennials are putting aside money for their retirement. That’s a good thing too, as Social Security will only cover half of the retirement costs. But reports show that Millennials might not be saving enough, as only 20% believe they need to set aside $500,000 for retirement. But all hope is not lost. Here are ways Millennials are adapting to the unique economic situation of today and making sure they’re prepared for the future.
Taking Advantage of 401Ks
82% of Millennials are investing money in their 401Ks, putting them ahead of both Baby Boomers (at 75%) and Gen Xers (at 77%). A big advantage of this style of investing is the fact that many employers have policies in place to match the 401K investments of their employees. That means that it’s important for Millennials to invest in their 401Ks at least to the level that their employers match. It’s also imperative to really evaluate the plans offered. Finding the right balance between growth and income funds can make a world of difference, especially over time.
Keeping Serious Expectations
“Retirement” doesn’t typically have the connotations it once did, and many Millennials are adapting to the realities of modern life by recognizing that they may still have to keep working even after their retirement plans start paying out. 58% of Millennials understand that having to work past retirement age is a practical necessity, a promising sign, since nurturing that nest egg while you’re still able is much preferable to running out of money when you’ve been out of the job market for years or even decades.
Balancing Retirement Against Debt
Millennials owe the largest amount of debt in America, with a quarter of all the people in that generation owing $30,000 or more. Given the interest that builds up over time, this naturally puts a dent in their retirement opportunities, and the interest rates in place for those debts are usually much higher than the interest earned on 401Ks. As a result, a big aspect of watching out for retirement for Millennials doesn’t involve saving at all. It could mean diverting cash that could go into a retirement plan towards their debt. While that may be frustrating in the short term and could forestall the time they have to put money towards retirement, it’s one of the most sensible options at their disposal.